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Family - Atlantis
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Age Friendly!

Title: Family.
Author: Ky (Venom_69)
Fandom: Atlantis
Category: Introspective, I guess.
Pairing: Shep/Weir. Kinda.
Rating: Age friendly.
Summary: Set during ‘Intruder.’
Archive: My site. Anywhere else, sure, just let me know where so I can come visit.
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, never will. Promise to put them back in the state I found them. Song’s not mine either. That would belong to ‘Thunder.’
Author’s notes: Something short and sweet to boot my muse up the bum.
Date: 28/05/06
Copyright to Venom, 2006

***

Just about that moment
The timing was so right
You appeared like a vision
Sent down to my life
I thought I was dreaming,
When I saw you that night

***

John sits quietly, staring at the area around him.

Cars and trucks rush by on the bridge to his left. The traffic is noisy, but the full effect doesn’t reach him from where he sits, perched on the hill.

The grass is damp beneath him.

It rained yesterday and the smell that lingers in the air is calming.

Familiar.

There’s a small child – maybe five or six – chasing after his errant dog. The golden ball of fur barks happily, running from his owner in search of a ball or stick. There’s a woman – the mother? – who is laughing gleefully as she watches the scene. An older man lies on the grass behind her, smiling, most of his attention focused on the baby in a portable cradle beside him.

The perfect nuclear family.

Happy.

Content.

Clueless.

It’s easy, he thinks, to sit here and forget about everything that he’s seen in the last year.

It’s far too easy to pretend that the Wraith don’t exist in the Pegasus Galaxy, that they aren’t feeding on humans, looking for a way to Earth. It’s far too easy to pretend that the Goa’uld aren’t in this Galaxy, enslaving and killing at will. Far too easy to forget about Ford, about what happened.

There’s so much shit out there, sometimes it makes him feel ill.

Sometimes it makes him feel amazed to be making a difference, helping people.

Sometimes he just wishes that he’d never got ‘heads’ when he sat here a year ago.

Watching the family before him – the young boy is now trying to tackle the dog, who’s tail wags enthusiastically – is almost like a balm to his soul. Conformation that life goes on even though there are creatures just dying – literally – to suck the life out of you. It reminds him why they continue to do what they do. Why they gave up the chance of a ‘normal’ life to step through the Stargate and into chaos.

There’s a reason behind all of the fighting and they are trying to save something worthwhile.

“You going to flip another coin?”

There is only one person that he has told about his initial decision making process. And he only told her that one night when she was feeling down – they had just lost the first member of their expedition – and he wanted to see her smile. John doesn’t need to turn around to be sure of who stands behind him. “And decide what?”

“Whether or not to go back.” The air around him rustles a little as she sits beside him.

It’s strange, but he’s almost convinced that Earth air smells different to the air that they’ve all been breathing for the last year. The grass feels different here to the stuff he’s sat on with the Athosians. The buildings are familiar, the skyline of the city before him bears no resemblance to Atlantis.

He’s tempted, for a few seconds at least, to not go back.

To bury his head back up his ass and pretend that the most screwed up thing in the world is who sits in the White House and how much damage they’re currently doing. To pretend that the most pressing matter in his life right now is how much money he’s put on the next game and what kind of beer he’s going to drink as he watches it. He’s very tempted to tell them that he doesn’t want the kind of life that awaits him in Atlantis.

The only downside is that he knows what she would be going back to, and he just doesn’t have the strength to let her go alone. “I don’t need a coin for that.”

Her smile is indulgent as she looks at him. “No, I think you’ll enjoy being the base Colonel too much for that.”

“There is that.” He’s not been stupid enough to tell her that he’s pretty much head over heels for her.

Yet.

“How did it go with Ford’s cousin?”

It’s the one thing he doesn’t want to talk about. “Fine.” Sigh. “How’d it go with Simon?”

“Fine.” It’s probably the one thing she doesn’t want to talk about.

The boy that John has been watching falls, rolling down the small hill, the dog chasing after him in a continuation of their ‘game.’

He hears the woman gasp, immediately reaching for him, instead becoming tangled with him as they roll a little further and come to a halt together. The boy is laughing, little squeals of delight. The woman looks relieved, before she begins to laugh along, tickling his sides. The man rocks the cradle silently, watching the mother – for John is certain of that now – and child play, a content smile on his face.

“Makes you think, doesn’t it?” She asks quietly. “That it’s all worth it.”

“Yeah.”

Elizabeth has obviously been watching him. “You want that?”

“Someday. When I meet the right person.” Or when he can convince her that he’s better for her than Simon, which he doesn’t actually believe yet.

She doesn’t respond, but she doesn’t really need to, he thinks. “How are the debriefings going?”

“Long, mostly. I have to be back in a few hours. Thought I could get some fresh air first.”

She can’t really discuss it with him, John understands that.

“Hey, we should go get some ice-cream.”

“Ice-cream?”

“Chocolate ice-cream. We haven’t had that in a while.”

There’s a look of longing on her face. Desire. He wont think about it. “One of the things I missed.”

“I know.” He stands, holding out a hand to her.

She takes it after a moment’s hesitation and he helps her stand. “Let’s go then.”

As they leave, he glances back over his shoulder at the family. The mother and boy are reading some kind of book together, while the man holds the baby in his arms, bottle to the little one’s mouth.

Family.

Happiness.

He wants that.

But as he looks at the woman next to him, for the first time in his life, John thinks that it might actually be possible.

***

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